Tiger Woods hits out of the rough on a fairway during his Sunday round at last year's Farmers Insurance Open. / Photo by Thomas Melville
Tiger Woods, who capped off a dramatic comeback season with his 80th career PGA Tour victory at the Tour Championship in September, will start his 2019 campaign at Torrey Pines Golf Course. The seven-time winner of the Farmers Insurance Open has committed to play this year’s tournament Jan. 24-27, the Century Club of San Diego announced on Jan. 16.
After being limited by back injuries to just two tournaments in the span of more than two full calendar years, Woods made a triumphant comeback in 2018, starting at Torrey Pines. He played 18 tournaments, securing 12 top-25 finishes and seven top-10s – including a pair of runner-up placings and his Tour Championship win, his first victory in more than five years. He finished T6 or better in The Open Championship and the PGA Championship and earned more than $5 million for just the second time in nine seasons.
Woods won the Farmers Insurance Open in 1999, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2013, and earned his most recent major championship victory in a 19-hole playoff at the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines in 2008. In addition to his seven victories at the Farmers Insurance Open, the 80-time PGA TOUR winner has finished in the top 10 six other times in 16 appearances. He is the tournament’s all-time leading money winner, with $6,915,700.
“We couldn’t be happier to have Tiger back in our field,” said Century Club of San Diego CEO Peter Ripa. “He really launched his fairytale comeback season right here last January, and he has enjoyed incredible success at Torrey Pines Golf Course and in our tournament over the years. It will be exciting to see him alongside many of the game’s other top players Jan. 24-27.”
Until last year, Woods hadn’t played four complete rounds in the Farmers Insurance Open since his last victory here in 2013. After missing the cut during an abbreviated comeback in 2017, he advanced to the weekend last year by making birdie on his 18th hole Friday to make the cut on the number. Rounds of 70 and 72 Saturday and Sunday left him tied for 23rd. He would go on to secure top-10 finishes in the Valspar Championship, the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the Quicken Loans National, The Open Championship, the PGA Championship and the BMW Championship before his season-ending victory at East Lake.
“This year as a whole was probably the most rewarding, because there was a point where I just didn't know if I would ever do this again,” Woods said before the Hero World Challenge in November.
“The expectations are much different this upcoming year. Now I know that I can do it, now it's just about managing and making sure I'm fresh for events, because I know I can win tournaments again.”
Twenty years ago, Woods captured his first title at the Farmers Insurance Open. It was his eighth victory on the PGA TOUR but carried extra significance because of the golf course on which he did it.
“That was a big win for me because this was the first Tour event that my dad ever took me to, the old Andy Williams,” Woods said. “So for me that was a big deal to win a tournament my dad first took me to.”
Woods joins a strong list of early commitments that includes defending champion and World No. 11 Jason Day, World No. 1 and defending FedExCup champion Justin Rose, No. 6 and San Diego native Xander Schauffele, 2017 Farmers Insurance Open winner and World No. 7 Jon Rahm, No. 8 Rory McIlroy, No. 10 Tony Finau, No. 13 Rickie Fowler, No. 15 Patrick Reed, No. 16 Marc Leishman, No. 18 Jordan Spieth, No. 19 Patrick Cantlay, No. 21 Alex Noren, No. 23 Gary Woodland and No. 30 Hideki Matsuyama.
Joining Fowler and Schauffele among San Diego products committed to the Farmers Insurance Open are Torrey Pines High School graduates Pat Perez and Jamie Lovemark, Poway product Charley Hoffman and San Diego State University alum J.J. Spaun. Joining Woods and Rahm as past tournament champions who have committed are Day (2018, 2015), Brandt Snedeker (2016, 2012), Scott Stallings (2014), Ben Crane (2010) and Nick Watney (2009). Young up-and-coming players to watch who have committed include PGA TOUR rookie and long-bomber Cameron Champ and 19-year-old Chilean sensation Joaquin Niemann.
The field is not final until the commitment deadline on Friday, Jan. 18 at 5 p.m. ET.
In addition to attracting some of the biggest names in the sport, the 2019 Farmers Insurance Open will also feature an array of specialty food and drink offerings showcasing the San Diego flavor and venues to entertain the 100,000-plus spectators who attend the four-day tournament.
Areas open to the public include the Grey Goose 19th Hole, which will feature an elevated viewing deck that provides panoramic views of the course, a Pétanque course and specialty drinks including the signature cocktail, the “Torrey Breeze.” Other public areas of interest include the Michelob ULTRA Zone, where fans can enjoy happy hour specials starting at 3 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and a DJ as part of the Post Party presented by Harrah’s Resort SoCal.
Tickets for the 2019 Farmers Insurance Open are on sale and may be purchased at farmersinsuranceopen.com/tickets.
Adult grounds tickets are $60, with upgraded VIP tickets starting at $90. With venues selling out last year, fans are encouraged to buy in advance. Discounted tickets are available for seniors, veterans, and youth 13-17. Tickets are complimentary for active duty military, reservists, retired military and dependents. Kids 12 and under are admitted free with a ticketed adult, with a maximum of four kids per adult.